Napa Valley, California’s enchanting wine country, offers a plethora of activities and experiences that go far beyond wine tasting.
Known for its picturesque vineyards, world-class cuisine, and luxurious accommodations, this idyllic region is a favorite destination for travelers seeking to immerse themselves in the beauty and allure of California wine country.
As one of the top wine country getaways near the San Francisco Bay Area, Napa Valley is both accessible and inviting for a wide range of visitors.
With its diverse range of attractions, Napa Valley wine country provides the perfect backdrop for unforgettable adventures, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned wine-country traveler.
In this article, I’ve curated a list of 55 top things to do in Napa Valley besides wine tastin, that highlight the region’s unique charm and appeal.
The list features a diverse array of outdoor activities, culinary delights, cultural experiences, and artistic discoveries.
Explore the hidden gems and lesser-known treasures that make Napa Valley a must-visit destination in California wine country.
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Unique Experiences in Napa Valley
Napa Valley offers a host of one-of-a-kind experiences that elevate your visit beyond the ordinary, allowing you to create unforgettable memories and appreciate the region’s distinctive character.
1. Napa Valley Aloft Hot Air Balloon Rides
Drift high above the breathtaking Napa Valley landscape in a hot air balloon as you watch the sunrise, casting a golden hue over the picturesque vineyards and rolling hills.
This serene adventure will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the beauty of this region.
The sight of neatly aligned vineyards, beautiful estates, and the majestic mountains in the distance is an experience that will forever be etched in your memory.
2. Napa Valley Wine Train
Step back in time as you board the historic Napa Valley Wine Train. Embark on a journey through the heart of the valley, traveling in beautifully restored vintage rail cars.
The train offers a unique gourmet dining experience as you journey through the picturesque landscape. Savor the flavors of the seasonal menu prepared by skilled chefs, using locally sourced ingredients.
The wine train is a perfect blend of luxury, culinary delight, and the opportunity to witness the stunning countryside.
3. Napa Lighted Art Festival
Experience the magic of the Napa Lighted Art Festival, an annual event that transforms the city into a glowing wonderland of illuminated artworks and installations.
Takes place annually from January to mid-February, this captivating festival features a variety of light-based artworks by local and international artists.
These stunning displays can be found throughout downtown Napa and its surrounding neighborhoods, offering a magical experience for visitors to Napa Valley during winter.
As you explore the city streets after dark, you’ll encounter mesmerizing displays of color and light that create a truly enchanting atmosphere.
The Napa Lighted Art Festival is a must-see event for art lovers and anyone seeking a unique and memorable way to experience the beauty of Napa Valley.
4. The Grape Crusher statue
Don’t miss the iconic Grape Crusher statue when you’re in Napa Valley. This impressive bronze sculpture by Gino Miles stands over 15 feet tall and serves as a symbol of the valley’s rich wine-making history.
As a popular photo spot and landmark, it is the perfect place to capture memories of your visit to the California wine country.
To reach the statue, head south on Soscol Ferry Road where highways 12, 29, and 221 intersect. Continue on Vista Point Drive going west, and then make a right onto Napa Valley Corporate Park Drive.
5. Aerial Tram at Sterling Vineyards
The Aerial Tram at Sterling Vineyards offers a truly unique and unforgettable experience for visitors to Napa Valley, even for those who aren’t focused on wine tasting.
Located in the picturesque town of Calistoga, Sterling Vineyards is home to an impressive aerial tram that transports guests up the hillside to their hilltop winery.
As you ascend the hillside, you’ll be treated to breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding vineyards and the valley below.
The tram ride itself becomes an adventure on its own, providing an opportunity to appreciate the stunning landscape from a new perspective.
Once at the top, you can explore the beautiful winery grounds, which feature Mediterranean-inspired architecture and lush gardens.
While wine tastings are available, non-drinkers can still enjoy the serene atmosphere, take leisurely strolls, and capture memorable photos.
Don’t forget to take advantage of the stunning vistas from the winery’s terrace, where you can relax, soak in the scenery, and appreciate the beauty of Napa Valley.
6. Culinary Institute of America
Napa Valley is not only about wine but also a culinary haven.
At the renowned Culinary Institute of America (CIA), at Copia, you can hone your cooking skills or enjoy a hands-on class to learn the secrets behind a delicious dish.
Whether you’re a novice or an experienced cook, the CIA offers a variety of classes and workshops to suit your interests.
From food and wine pairing to baking and international cuisine, there’s something for everyone.
7. Olive Oil Tasting
While Napa Valley is famous for its wine, the region also boasts a thriving olive oil industry, producing some of the country’s finest olive oils and balsamic vinegar.
Napa Valley is home to some exquisite olive oil mills that produce high-quality, artisanal olive oils and balsamic vinegar.
Visit one of these mills for a unique tasting experience, where you’ll learn about the production process and sample a variety of olive oils crafted from locally grown olives.
Some mills even offer flavored olive oils, infused with herbs, spices, or citrus, providing a delightful sensory experience that complements the region’s culinary landscape.
Visiting one of these mills or storefronts in Downtown Napa, such as Round Pond Estate, Napa Valley Olive Oil Manufacturing Co., Long Meadow Ranch, or The Olive Press at Oxbow Public Market, offers a unique tasting experience.
You’ll learn about the production process and sample a variety of exquisite olive oils, including those infused with herbs, spices, or citrus flavors
8. Napa Valley Wine Trolley
Climb aboard the Napa Valley Wine Trolley for a charming and leisurely tour of the region’s renowned wineries.
This vintage, open-air trolley provides a fun and nostalgic way to explore the valley, with knowledgeable guides who share fascinating facts and stories about the area’s history and winemaking traditions.
The trolley stops at a selection of wineries for tastings and tours, allowing you to savor the flavors of Napa Valley in a truly memorable setting.
Outdoor Adventure and Recreation in Napa Valley
Discover the natural wonders of Napa Valley through a variety of outdoor adventures and recreational activities.
Explore picturesque landscapes, lush vineyards, and serene waterways for an exhilarating and unforgettable experience.
9. Oxbow Public Market
Nestled along the Napa River, Oxbow Public Market is a bustling hub of fresh produce, artisanal food, and local crafts.
It’s a food lover’s paradise where you can find everything from gourmet cheese and charcuterie to exotic spices and handmade chocolates.
The market also features a variety of eateries serving delectable dishes prepared with fresh, local ingredients.
Strolling through Oxbow Public Market is a delightful experience that allows you to indulge in the best that Napa Valley has to offer.
10. Biking the Napa Valley Vine Trail
Embark on a scenic biking adventure along the Napa Valley Vine Trail, a visionary project conceived in 2008 by the Napa Valley Vintners, the Napa Valley Grapegrowers, and the Land Trust.
Once completed, this expansive 47-mile walking and biking trail system will artistically and culturally connect the entire Napa Valley, stretching from Calistoga to the Vallejo Ferry and linking to the greater Bay Area.
At present, 12.5 miles of the Vine Trail have been completed and are open to the public. This section spans from Kennedy Park, located south of downtown Napa, to the northern end of Yountville.
As you pedal along this picturesque route, you’ll be immersed in the beauty of Napa Valley’s vineyards and landscapes while also experiencing the region’s rich culture and history.
The Napa Valley Vine Trail offers an unparalleled way to explore the heart of wine country at a leisurely pace, providing unforgettable memories and breathtaking views along the way.
11. Hiking in Bothe-Napa Valley State Park
Bothe-Napa Valley State Park offers an idyllic setting for hiking enthusiasts to explore the diverse and scenic landscapes of Napa Valley, including its majestic redwood groves.
With over 10 miles of well-maintained trails, hikers can traverse through lush forests, towering redwoods, meandering creeks, and vibrant wildflower meadows.
As you hike, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the surrounding vineyards and mountains, making it a perfect outdoor adventure for nature lovers and photographers alike.
Insider Tip: Delighted by the diverse experiences in Napa Valley? Extend your adventures with my Getaway Guide to Top Weekend Trips from the Bay Area, and discover even more amazing destinations! Check it out here:
12. Kayaking and Paddleboarding on the Napa River
Paddle your way through the heart of Napa Valley as you kayak along the gentle currents of the Napa River.
This leisurely water adventure offers a unique perspective on the region’s scenic beauty as you glide past lush riverbanks, charming waterfront homes, and abundant wildlife, including herons, egrets, and otters.
Whether you’re an experienced paddler or a first-time kayaker, a journey down the Napa River is a delightful way to experience the tranquility and natural splendor of the valley.
13. Picnicking in Napa Valley
There’s something undeniably romantic and idyllic about enjoying a picnic amidst the lush vineyards of Napa Valley.
Pack a basket with your favorite gourmet treats, such as artisanal cheeses, crusty bread, and fresh fruit, and find a tranquil spot where you can savor your meal while taking in the stunning views.
Many wineries in the region welcome visitors to enjoy a picnic on their grounds, offering a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of the vineyard landscape.
Some popular wineries for picnicking include V. Sattui Winery, Rutherford Hill Winery, and Clos Du Val Winery.
Each of these wineries offers picturesque and well-maintained picnic areas, perfect for a leisurely afternoon with family and friends.
14. Skyline Wilderness Park
Encompassing over 850 acres of pristine wilderness, Skyline Wilderness Park offers a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
The park features an extensive network of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding, showcasing the diverse flora and fauna of the region.
As you venture through the park, you’ll encounter oak woodlands, lush meadows, and tranquil creeks, providing a serene backdrop for your outdoor adventure.
Skyline Wilderness Park is a testament to the natural beauty that flourishes in Napa Valley, inviting visitors to explore and connect with the great outdoors.
15. Robert Louis Stevenson State Park
Embark on an outdoor adventure at Robert Louis Stevenson State Park, a 5,272-acre park named after the famed author who spent his honeymoon in the area.
This remarkable park boasts the highest peak in the California Wine Country, Mount St. Helena, offering stunning views of Napa, Sonoma, and Lake Counties.
The park features a variety of hiking trails that lead through diverse landscapes, including dense forests, volcanic rock formations, and open meadows.
In the wintertime, Mount St. Helena is one of the few hikes that can be enjoyed with snow.
The challenging hike to the summit of Mount St. Helena rewards visitors with panoramic views of the valley and, on clear days, even glimpses of the Pacific Ocean, the Sierra Nevada mountains, Mount Shasta, Mount Lassen, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
16. Lake Berryessa
Spend a day enjoying the natural beauty and recreational opportunities of Lake Berryessa, the largest lake in Napa County.
Located just a short drive from the heart of Napa Valley, this scenic reservoir offers a wide range of activities, including boating, fishing, swimming, and hiking.
With its stunning vistas and abundant wildlife, Lake Berryessa provides a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of the valley’s more tourist-centric areas.
Travel Tip: If you’re a fan of exploring beautiful lakes, don’t forget to check out my blog post on the 35 Best Lakes in Northern California to add to Your Bucket List.
17. Golfing at Silverado Resort and Spa
Tee off at the prestigious Silverado Resort and Spa, an iconic destination nestled in the heart of Napa Valley.
Boasting two championship golf courses designed by renowned architect Robert Trent Jones Jr., Silverado offers a world-class golfing experience amidst stunning landscapes and lush, rolling greens.
Both the North and South courses provide a challenging yet enjoyable golfing experience for players of all skill levels, featuring meticulously maintained fairways and greens, strategically placed bunkers, and picturesque water hazards.
The backdrop of Napa Valley’s verdant vineyards and majestic mountains adds to the charm and allure of playing golf at this exceptional resort.
After a round of golf, unwind and indulge in the resort’s luxurious amenities, such as the award-winning spa, fine dining restaurants, and comfortable accommodations.
Silverado Resort and Spa is a golfer’s paradise, offering the perfect blend of relaxation and recreation in California’s wine country.
18. Wine Country Horseback Riding
Saddle up for an unforgettable adventure as you explore the scenic vineyards and countryside of Napa Valley on horseback.
Guided trail rides take you through picturesque landscapes, offering a leisurely and intimate connection with the region’s natural beauty.
Many local stables cater to riders of all skill levels, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.
Horseback riding in Napa Valley is a truly memorable way to experience the charm and serenity of this enchanting destination.
19. Napa Valley Bike Tours
Explore the captivating landscape of Napa Valley at your own pace with a guided or self-guided bike tour.
Pedal through picturesque vineyards, charming towns, and lush countryside, stopping at wineries and points of interest along the way.
With a variety of routes and rental options available, a Napa Valley bike tour offers a fun and active way to experience the region’s natural beauty and distinctive charm.
20. Take a Scenic Drive
Experience the breathtaking beauty of Napa Valley from the comfort of your car with a leisurely scenic drive.
There are several routes to choose from, each offering stunning views of vineyards, rolling hills, and picturesque countryside.
Popular options include the Silverado Trail, which runs parallel to Highway 29, and the lesser-known Spring Mountain Road, which offers a more secluded and serene driving experience.
No matter which route you choose, a scenic drive through Napa Valley is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories of this enchanting region.
21. Truffle Hunting
Experience the thrill of truffle hunting in Napa Valley with a guided excursion led by an expert truffle hunter and their trusty canine companion.
As you venture through the picturesque woodlands, you’ll learn about the fascinating world of truffles, including their unique growth patterns and the important role played by specially trained dogs in their discovery.
If you’re lucky, you may even unearth a prized truffle during your hunt, providing a rare and exciting culinary treat.
22. Visit the Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park
Explore a fascinating piece of Napa Valley’s history at the Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park.
This fully restored, 19th-century water-powered grist mill offers a rare glimpse into the region’s agricultural past, with guided tours that demonstrate the inner workings of the mill and the process of grinding grain into flour.
The park also features a picturesque picnic area and several hiking trails, making it an enjoyable destination for a leisurely day of outdoor exploration.
23. Napa Valley Lavender Fields
Immerse yourself in the fragrant beauty of Napa Valley’s lavender fields, which burst into vibrant purple blooms during summer.
Several local farms and wineries cultivate this aromatic herb, offering guided tours and workshops where you can learn about the many uses of lavender in cooking, aromatherapy, and personal care products.
A visit to the lavender fields is a feast for the senses, with the soothing scent of the blossoms and the striking visual display of the purple blooms against the backdrop of the valley’s lush landscape.
Explore the Charming Towns of Napa Valley
Delight in the character and charm of Napa Valley’s picturesque towns, each offering its own unique attractions and allure.
From bustling downtown centers to serene, tucked-away havens, these towns provide diverse experiences for visitors to discover and enjoy.
24. Explore Downtown Napa
The heart of Napa Valley, downtown Napa is a bustling hub of activity with a thriving culinary scene, vibrant nightlife, and numerous tasting rooms.
As the largest city in Napa Valley, downtown Napa serves as the region’s urban center and offers diverse experiences, from dining and entertainment to shopping and cultural attractions.
The city’s vibrant energy and rich history provide a unique perspective on the valley’s wine-country lifestyle.
Enjoy the blend of historical and modern architecture as you explore the city’s streets, stopping at galleries, shops, and wine bars along the way.
25. Riverfront Promenade, Downtown Napa
Discover the beauty and charm of downtown Napa by strolling along the picturesque Riverfront Promenade.
This scenic riverside walkway offers a delightful blend of nature, art, and culture, making it an ideal place to unwind and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of Napa Valley’s largest city.
As you meander along the promenade, you’ll encounter an array of public art installations, meticulously landscaped gardens, and charming benches perfect for taking a break and enjoying the view.
The promenade also boasts a variety of dining and shopping options, with an eclectic mix of restaurants, cafes, boutique shops, and wine-tasting rooms steps away from the river.
The Riverfront Promenade is a hub for community events and gatherings, hosting concerts, art shows, and farmers’ markets throughout the year.
Whether you’re a local or a visitor, the Riverfront Promenade in Napa offers a delightful taste of wine-country living, providing a tranquil oasis amidst the bustling urban landscape.
26. Napa Art Walk
Art enthusiasts will find themselves captivated by the Napa Art Walk, a curated collection of public art installations scattered throughout downtown Napa.
This biennial exhibition showcases the works of talented artists and offers an engaging and interactive experience for visitors.
As you wander through the city streets, you’ll discover a rich array of sculptures and installations, each with its unique story and inspiration.
Immerse yourself in the vibrant local art scene as you follow this self-guided tour, featuring outdoor sculptures and installations throughout downtown Napa.
Unwind in Calistoga
Discover the serene town of Calistoga, renowned for its hot springs, mud baths, and laid-back atmosphere. This peaceful retreat is perfect for relaxation and rejuvenation.
As one of the region’s smaller towns, Calistoga offers a more intimate experience of the wine country, allowing visitors to connect with the valley’s natural beauty and local charm.
27. Spa Experiences in Calistoga
Pamper yourself with a visit to one of Calistoga’s many luxurious spas, where you can indulge in rejuvenating treatments that harness the healing power of the region’s natural resources.
Calistoga, known for its hot springs and geothermal waters, has been a sought-after spa destination since the 19th century, drawing visitors from far and wide in search of relaxation and well-being.
Experience the unique pleasure of a volcanic ash mud bath, a therapeutic treatment that combines mineral-rich mud, geothermal waters, and natural volcanic ash to exfoliate, detoxify, and soothe the skin.
Afterward, slip into a mineral soak, where the warm, mineral-rich waters work their magic, relaxing tired muscles and rejuvenating the body and mind.
Complete your spa experience with a soothing massage, choosing from a variety of techniques like Swedish, deep tissue, or aromatherapy, each designed to cater to your specific needs and preferences.
With an array of world-class spas and wellness centers to choose from, Calistoga offers the perfect retreat for those seeking to unwind and experience the ultimate in relaxation amidst the beauty of Napa Valley.
For a revitalizing spa experience in Calistoga, I highly recommend visiting Golden Haven Hot Springs and Calistoga Spa Hot Springs.
Experience rejuvenating treatments, mud baths, and mineral soak at these exceptional destinations.
28. Old Faithful Geyser of California
One of only three geysers in the world with the designation of “Old Faithful,” this natural wonder in Calistoga provides a unique opportunity to witness the power and beauty of Mother Nature.
The geyser erupts regularly, shooting a plume of steaming water up to 60 feet into the air.
The surrounding park also features a small petting zoo, a geology museum, and picnic areas, making it a fun and educational destination for the whole family.
29. Calistoga’s Petrified Forest
Travel back in time and explore the fascinating world of the Petrified Forest, located just outside of Calistoga and one of the natural landmarks in California.
This unique attraction features a collection of ancient redwood trees that were petrified by volcanic ash millions of years ago.
As you walk along the well-maintained trails, you’ll marvel at the size and beauty of these stone-like giants, frozen in time for eternity.
The Petrified Forest is a reminder of the powerful geological forces that have shaped the landscape of Napa Valley, providing a captivating glimpse into the region’s distant past.
30. Sharpsteen Museum
Delve into the history of Calistoga and the Upper Napa Valley at this fascinating museum, featuring exhibits, artifacts, and dioramas that tell the story of the region’s past.
31. Experience the Vibrancy of St. Helena
Explore the charming town of Saint Helena, nestled in the heart of Napa Valley.
This picturesque community boasts a vibrant downtown area, with historic buildings, chic boutiques, and acclaimed restaurants lining its tree-shaded streets.
With its relaxed ambiance and small-town charm, Saint Helena is a delightful destination for a leisurely day of shopping and dining.
32. The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone
Visit this prestigious culinary school in a historic building, and take a cooking class or enjoy a meal at their on-site restaurant.
Delve into the history of the Culinary Institute of America’s (CIA) Greystone building and grounds, once a winery, by taking advantage of several public tour options available.
33. Robert Louis Stevenson Museum
Dedicated to the life and work of the celebrated Scottish author, the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum is a hidden gem nestled in the charming town of St. Helena.
This intimate museum boasts an impressive collection of artifacts, manuscripts, and memorabilia, providing visitors with a glimpse into the life of the man behind classic novels such as “Treasure Island,” “Kidnapped,” and “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”
The museum’s exhibits showcase Stevenson’s personal belongings, first edition books, and original letters, as well as artwork and photographs that document his life and travels.
Fans of the author’s work will appreciate the opportunity to learn more about the man who spent his honeymoon in Napa Valley and drew inspiration from the region’s natural beauty.
With free admission, the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum is a must-visit for literature enthusiasts and history buffs alike, offering an enlightening and engaging experience that pays tribute to one of the most influential writers of the 19th century.
34. Crane Park
Relax and unwind at this lovely park, featuring picnic areas, playgrounds, tennis courts, and a picturesque garden.
35. The Christopher Hill Gallery
Discover contemporary art from local and international artists at this modern gallery, showcasing diverse styles and media.
Indulge in Yountville’s Culinary and Cultural Delights
Home to several world-renowned restaurants and luxury accommodations, Yountville is a haven for food and wine lovers.
Yountville is celebrated as the region’s culinary capital and is home to a high concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants.
The town’s elegant atmosphere and focus on fine dining make it a must-visit destination for food and wine enthusiasts traveling through Napa Valley.
Spend a leisurely day wandering through the town’s art galleries, specialty shops, and lush gardens.
36. Napa Valley Museum
Immerse yourself in the rich history and art of the region at the Napa Valley Museum.
Located in Yountville, the museum showcases a variety of exhibits that delve into the valley’s fascinating past, from its Native American roots to the development of the wine industry.
The museum also features contemporary art exhibits, highlighting the work of talented local and regional artists.
A visit to the Napa Valley Museum is both educational and inspiring, offering a deeper understanding of this captivating region.
37. Yountville Art Walk
Discover the dynamic world of public art with a self-guided tour of the Yountville Art Walk.
This outdoor exhibition features a diverse collection of sculptures and installations by local and international artists displayed throughout the town of Yountville.
As you explore the charming streets and parks, you’ll encounter thought-provoking and visually stunning works of art that enhance the beauty of this picturesque community.
The Yountville Art Walk is a delightful way to experience the creativity and talent of Napa Valley’s thriving arts scene.
Also read: 41 Top places to see Street Art and Murals in San Francisco
38. Discover Oakville and Rutherford: Beyond the Vineyards
Oakville and Rutherford, two picturesque towns in Napa Valley, offer a variety of activities and attractions beyond the vineyards and wine-tasting rooms.
Immerse yourself in the region’s rich agricultural history with a visit to the Oakville Grocery, the oldest continually operating grocery store in California, where you can sample and purchase locally-sourced artisanal products.
For nature enthusiasts, embark on a scenic hike at the nearby Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park, where you can explore the beautiful surroundings and learn about the region’s early milling history.
Art lovers can wander through the Mumm Napa Fine Art Photography Gallery in Rutherford, which features an impressive collection of fine art photography.
Finally, indulge your taste buds with a visit to the Culinary Institute of America at Copia, where you can participate in cooking classes, demonstrations, and other culinary events.
With its charming blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, Oakville and Rutherford provide a wealth of experiences to enjoy beyond the wine glass.
Experience the vibrant cultural side of Napa Valley, as you discover its performing arts, theaters, and art walks that showcase the region’s creative talents and artistic heritage.
39. The di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art
Nestled in the heart of Napa Valley, the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art is a unique and inspiring destination that celebrates the vibrant art scene of Northern California.
The di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art is home to an extensive collection of works by local artists, displayed in various indoor and outdoor galleries.
As you explore the stunning grounds, you’ll come across modern sculptures, thought-provoking installations, and picturesque landscapes that serve as the perfect backdrop for the art.
The di Rosa Center is a testament to the creative spirit that thrives in Napa Valley.
40. Art Galleries
Napa Valley’s thriving arts scene is evident in its numerous galleries, where local, national, and international artists showcase their work. A few notable art galleries in the region include:
- Caldwell Snyder Gallery (St. Helena): This renowned gallery features contemporary art by established and emerging artists, with a focus on paintings, sculptures, and mixed-media works.
- ÆRENA Galleries & Gardens (Yountville and St. Helena): These galleries and sculpture gardens showcase a curated collection of contemporary art, sculpture, and design, with a focus on engaging and inspiring visitors.
- Napa Valley Art Association’s Art Gallery Napa Valley (Napa): This gallery, operated by the Napa Valley Art Association, features a diverse selection of artwork from local artists, including paintings, photography, ceramics, and more.
As you explore Napa Valley, you’ll encounter a wide range of artistic styles and mediums. Visiting these galleries offers an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in the creative spirit of the region and perhaps find a unique piece to commemorate your visit.
41. Napa Valley Opera House
Experience the magic of live performance at the historic Napa Valley Opera House.
This beautifully restored venue, originally built in 1880, showcases a variety of performances, including theater, dance, music, and film.
The intimate setting and stunning architecture create a truly immersive experience, transporting you to a world of art and culture.
A visit to the Napa Valley Opera House is a delightful way to add a touch of sophistication and elegance to your time in the valley.
42. Uptown Theatre Napa
Located in the heart of downtown Napa, the Uptown Theatre is a premier destination for live entertainment.
This lovingly restored art deco theater hosts a diverse array of performances, including concerts, comedy shows, and film screenings.
The intimate venue features excellent acoustics and comfortable seating, ensuring an enjoyable experience for all who attend.
With its eclectic mix of events and performances, the Uptown Theatre is a testament to Napa Valley’s vibrant arts scene.
43. Jarvis Conservatory
Located in the heart of Napa, the Jarvis Conservatory is a cultural gem that celebrates the performing arts.
This elegant venue hosts a variety of events, including theater, opera, dance, and music performances.
In addition to its impressive lineup of shows, the conservatory also offers educational programs and workshops, providing valuable opportunities for local artists and performers to hone their craft.
A visit to the Jarvis Conservatory is a captivating way to experience the thriving arts scene of Napa Valley.
44. Historic Walking Tours
Step back in time and explore the rich history of Napa Valley with a guided walking tour through one of the region’s charming towns.
As you stroll along the quaint streets, your knowledgeable guide will regale you with fascinating stories and historical tidbits about the area’s past.
From Victorian mansions to historical landmarks, these tours provide a captivating glimpse into the heritage and culture of Napa Valley.
45. Wineries with Unique Offerings
Visit the wineries that go beyond the ordinary, featuring beautiful gardens, art collections, and historic mansions, making them ideal for visitors seeking more than just wine tasting.
Discover the multifaceted charm of Napa Valley wineries that cater to more than just wine enthusiasts.
These wineries are perfect for groups with diverse interests, offering a variety of experiences that cater to both wine lovers and those who prefer other activities.
Many large wineries boast stunning outdoor gardens, art sculptures, statues, water fountains, and more.
Castello di Amorosa is an excellent choice, as it allows you to explore an Italian-style castle while others in your group enjoy wine tasting.
To experience the elegance of a Victorian mansion, visit Spring Mountain Vineyards or Beringer Vineyards.
For breathtaking panoramic views, Sterling Vineyards offers an aerial tram tour of the grand estate.
If art captures your interest, consider Artesa, Clos Pegase, HALL, Hess Collection, or Mumm Napa Valley. These wineries are among those that feature public art displays, enhancing your visit with a touch of creativity.
V. Sattui is a personal favorite, thanks to its inviting, shaded picnic area, perfect for lounging, sunbathing, and enjoying a meal in the sun.
Other wineries may also offer restaurants, food and wine pairings, or educational tours about winemaking that might appeal to non-drinkers.
Rest assured that most wineries are welcoming to those who wish to explore and relax on their grounds.
Unless the winery is “by appointment only,” you can enjoy its beautiful surroundings without worrying about being asked to leave.
So, venture beyond traditional wine-tasting experiences and discover the diverse attractions Napa Valley’s wineries have to offer.
Embrace your inner chef and take part in a cooking class while in Napa Valley.
There’s no better place to learn the art of preparing delicious meals, using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and pairing them with the region’s finest wines.
Many wineries, cooking schools, and gourmet shops offer hands-on classes, led by experienced chefs who will guide you through the process of creating mouthwatering dishes.
Whether you’re a novice in the kitchen or a seasoned home cook, a Napa Valley cooking class is a fun and engaging way to expand your culinary horizons.
46. Downtown Napa Culinary Crawl
Embark on a gastronomic journey through the heart of downtown Napa with a guided culinary crawl.
This walking tour takes you to a variety of local eateries, where you’ll sample delectable dishes prepared by talented chefs.
You’ll also learn about the region’s rich history and vibrant culture as you savor the flavors of Napa Valley’s culinary scene.
The Downtown Napa Culinary Crawl is a delicious way to explore the city and indulge in the best of its food and wine offerings.
47. Wine Country Yoga
Rejuvenate your body and mind with a yoga class amidst the serene beauty of Napa Valley.
Many local studios and wineries offer outdoor classes set against the backdrop of the region’s vineyards and rolling hills, providing a peaceful and inspiring environment to practice your poses.
Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or new to the practice, wine country yoga is a unique and revitalizing way to experience the tranquility of Napa Valley.
48. Napa Valley Distillery
Discover the art of craft spirits at the Napa Valley Distillery, where traditional techniques and innovative flavors come together to create unique and memorable libations.
Embark on a guided tour of the distillery to learn about the history of spirits production in the region and the intricacies of the distillation process.
Afterward, enjoy a tasting of the distillery’s handcrafted spirits, including whiskey, gin, brandy, and more.
This experience offers a refreshing change of pace from the wine-centric activities that dominate the region.
49. Ackerman Heritage House
Ackerman Heritage House is a beautifully restored Victorian mansion in Napa, offering visitors a glimpse into the elegant lifestyle of the late 19th century through guided tours and curated events in its exquisite, period-inspired rooms.
Day Trips and Nearby Destinations
50. Day Trip to Sonoma and Sonoma County
Venture beyond Napa Valley and embark on a day trip to the neighboring Sonoma County.
Just a short drive away, this equally captivating wine country offers a delightful mix of wineries, charming towns, and scenic landscapes.
With its relaxed atmosphere and welcoming ambiance, Sonoma County is the perfect destination for those seeking a more laid-back wine-country experience.
Explore the historic town of Sonoma, where you’ll find a vibrant plaza lined with boutique shops, gourmet restaurants, and tasting rooms.
Visit the Sonoma State Historic Park to learn about the region’s history, and don’t miss the iconic Mission San Francisco Solano, the northernmost of California’s 21 Spanish missions.
Sonoma County is also home to a diverse array of wineries, from family-owned establishments to large-scale operations.
Enjoy tastings at renowned wineries such as Buena Vista, the oldest commercial winery in California, or discover hidden gems tucked away in the rolling hills and vineyards.
Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty to do in Sonoma County as well. The area boasts beautiful parks, nature preserves, and coastline, providing ample opportunities for hiking, biking, and beachcombing.
A day trip to Sonoma and Sonoma County is the perfect way to experience the full spectrum of California wine country’s charm and beauty.
51. Safari West Wildlife Preserve
Get up close and personal with exotic wildlife at Safari West, a 400-acre wildlife preserve located just outside of Napa Valley.
This unique attraction offers guided safari tours through the park, where you can encounter giraffes, zebras, rhinos, and other African animals in a natural habitat.
Safari West also offers luxury tent accommodations, allowing you to extend your adventure and spend the night surrounded by the sights and sounds of the African savannah.
Also, read: Monterey Bay Aquarium – A window to another world!
52. Linda Falls
Linda Falls, located near Angwin and about 8 miles from Saint Helena, is a popular and picturesque destination maintained by the Land Trust of Napa County.
The 1.3-mile loop trail, which is moderately easy, takes you to the beautiful Linda Falls, where Conn Creek gracefully cascades over a series of granite steps.
To enjoy the fullest flow of the waterfall, visit in the spring, and consider arriving early in the day to avoid crowds.
As you hike the partly shaded trail, you’ll be treated to an array of native flora, including blooming manzanita during spring.
Napa Valley offers a variety of shopping experiences for visitors, ranging from upscale boutiques and designer stores to local artisan markets and charming shops. Here are some popular shopping destinations in the region:
- Downtown Napa: The heart of Napa Valley features a lively shopping scene with a mix of specialty stores, clothing boutiques, and artisan shops. Notable spots include the Oxbow Public Market, which houses a variety of food vendors, wine merchants, and local artisan goods, and the Napa General Store, offering an assortment of locally made products and gifts.
- St. Helena: Stroll along Main Street in St. Helena and discover a collection of upscale boutiques, art galleries, and home décor shops. Be sure to check out Woodhouse Chocolate for some delectable treats and Model Bakery for their famous English muffins.
- Yountville: This charming town offers a curated selection of chic boutiques and specialty shops, perfect for finding unique souvenirs or gifts. Visit the Kollar Chocolates for some artisan chocolates or pop into the JCB Tasting Salon & Atelier for a luxurious shopping experience.
- Calistoga: Calistoga’s Lincoln Avenue is home to a variety of shops, including clothing boutiques, home goods stores, and art galleries. Don’t miss the Calistoga Pottery, where you can find beautiful, handcrafted ceramics made by local artists.
- The Premium Outlets in Napa: For those looking for brand-name items at discounted prices, the Napa Premium Outlets offer a variety of stores, including Coach, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, and more.
- Wine Country Farmers Markets: Napa Valley is home to several farmers markets where you can shop for fresh, local produce, artisanal foods, and handcrafted goods. Popular markets include the St. Helena Farmers Market, the Calistoga Farmers Market, and the Napa Farmers Market.
With its diverse array of shopping experiences, Napa Valley provides visitors with plenty of opportunities to find unique treasures and indulge in some retail therapy while exploring the beautiful wine country.
Indulge in the diverse and delectable culinary offerings of Napa Valley, a region known for its world-class dining experiences.
Napa Valley has something to satisfy every palate, from farm-to-table eateries to Michelin-starred restaurants. Here are a few notable dining options to consider during your visit:
The French Laundry – This renowned three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Yountville, helmed by Chef Thomas Keller, offers an unforgettable dining experience. With a daily-changing tasting menu featuring the finest ingredients, The French Laundry is a must-visit for food enthusiasts.
Mustards Grill – Located in Napa, Mustards Grill is a beloved local institution known for its American comfort food with a gourmet twist. Enjoy classics like wood-grilled steaks, burgers, and fresh seafood in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Oenotri – For a taste of Southern Italy, head to Oenotri in downtown Napa. This rustic eatery offers an extensive selection of house-made pasta, wood-fired pizzas, and locally-sourced ingredients, accompanied by an impressive wine list.
Bouchon Bistro – Another gem from Chef Thomas Keller, Bouchon Bistro in Yountville serves classic French bistro fare in an elegant setting. Indulge in favorites like steak frites, moules marinières, and tarte au citron for a true taste of France.
Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch – Located in St. Helena, Farmstead offers a farm-to-table dining experience with a focus on seasonal, sustainably-sourced ingredients. Enjoy dishes like grass-fed beef burgers, wood-fired pizzas, and fresh salads in a relaxed, rustic atmosphere.
Gott’s Roadside – For a casual yet satisfying meal, visit Gott’s Roadside in St. Helena or Napa. This iconic roadside stand serves up delicious burgers, sandwiches, and salads made from high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients.
Ad Hoc – Another Yountville favorite, Ad Hoc is yet another Thomas Keller creation. This laid-back eatery offers a daily-changing, family-style menu that highlights the freshest seasonal ingredients.
These are just a few of the many incredible dining options available in Napa Valley. From casual eateries to fine dining establishments, the region’s culinary scene offers something to delight every palate and ensure a memorable gastronomic journey.
55. Interesting Events
Napa Valley hosts a variety of events throughout the year, showcasing the region’s rich culture, food, wine, and arts scene. Here are some of the top events to attend:
- Napa Valley Restaurant Week (January): This annual event allows food lovers to experience Napa Valley’s culinary scene at a more accessible price, with local restaurants offering special prix-fixe menus.
- Napa Valley Truffle Festival (January): Celebrate the world of truffles at this gastronomic event featuring truffle-focused cooking demonstrations, wine pairings, and a truffle marketplace.
- Napa Lighted Art Festival (January to mid-February): This captivating festival features a variety of light-based artworks by local and international artists, displayed throughout downtown Napa and its surrounding neighborhoods.
- Yountville International Short Film Festival (February): This annual festival showcases a curated selection of short films from around the world, with screenings held in various venues throughout Yountville. The event also includes filmmaker Q&A sessions, panel discussions, and networking events.
- Yountville Live (March): A weekend-long event that combines music, food, and wine, featuring intimate concerts, gourmet cuisine, and exquisite Napa Valley wines.
- Napa Valley Arts in April (April): This month-long event highlights the vibrant arts community of Napa Valley with special exhibits, performances, and workshops at various venues throughout the region.
- Bottlerock Napa Valley (May): A three-day music, food, wine, and craft beer festival featuring top musical acts, renowned chefs, and some of the best wines and craft beers from the region.
- Auction Napa Valley (June): This prestigious charity wine auction brings together wine enthusiasts and collectors from around the world to bid on exclusive wine lots, with proceeds benefiting local nonprofits.
- Napa Porchfest (July): A community-driven event where local musicians perform on the front porches of historic Napa homes, turning neighborhoods into a day-long celebration of music and community.
- Music in the Vineyards (August): This unique chamber music festival brings together world-class musicians for intimate concerts held at various wineries throughout Napa Valley. The performances are paired with wine tastings, allowing attendees to enjoy exceptional music and fine wine in a stunning setting.
- Napa Valley Film Festival (November): This annual event showcases independent films, with screenings held in various venues throughout the valley, along with wine and culinary events.
- Napa Valley Marathon (November): A scenic race through the heart of wine country, the Napa Valley Marathon is a popular event for both runners and spectators, with beautiful views of vineyards and mountains.
- Calistoga Holiday Parade (December): This festive event in the charming town of Calistoga features beautifully decorated floats, live music, and a visit from Santa Claus, making it a delightful holiday experience for the whole family.
These are just a few of the top events in Napa Valley. Be sure to check the event calendars for each town and specific dates when planning your visit, as there’s always something happening in this vibrant region.
Where to stay
When planning a stay in Napa Valley, there are numerous accommodations to choose from, catering to a wide range of preferences and budgets. Here are a few recommendations to help you find the perfect place to rest your head after a day of exploring the beautiful wine country:
- Luxury Resorts: For those seeking the ultimate in luxury and pampering, consider booking a stay at Auberge du Soleil. This upscale resort offer world-class amenities, including fine dining, rejuvenating spas, and stunning views of the surrounding vineyards.
- Boutique Hotels: If you’re looking for a more intimate and personalized experience, boutique hotels such as Bardessono, Hotel Yountville, or Andaz Napa offer a blend of luxury and local charm. These properties often feature unique design elements, farm-to-table dining options, and attentive service.
- Bed and Breakfasts: For a cozy, home-away-from-home feel, consider staying at one of Napa Valley’s charming bed and breakfasts, such as the Inn on Randolph or the White House Inn & Spa. These quaint accommodations often include homemade breakfasts, warm hospitality, and a more intimate atmosphere.
Also read: 11 Best Bed and Breakfasts in Napa Valley
- Budget-Friendly Options: For travelers on a tighter budget, Napa Valley still has plenty to offer. Consider booking a stay at the Best Western Plus Inn at the Vines, the Hilton Garden Inn Napa, or the Embassy Suites by Hilton Napa Valley. These more affordable options still provide comfortable accommodations and convenient access to the area’s attractions.
By considering your preferences and budget, you can find the perfect accommodation for your visit to Napa Valley, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable stay in this beautiful region.
Similar Articles From Travel Realizations
While Napa Valley is undoubtedly famous for its world-class wines, the region has so much more to offer visitors searching for memorable experiences.
From outdoor adventures and culinary delights to arts and culture, this enchanting destination has something for everyone.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a returning traveler, we hope this list of 55 things to do in Napa Valley will inspire you to explore the hidden gems and lesser-known treasures that make this region unique and unforgettable.
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